Marguerite Humeau is an artist who has made reconstructions of extinct creatures' vocal tracts, extrapolating from extant species and fossil remains. The Extinction Orchestra. [more inside]
"One thing I was wondering is if any of these paleontologists you’ve talked to have given their argument of why paleontology is important." Fossils are "just basically rocks," he said. "It's not like antiquities, where it's somebody's heritage and culture and all that."Bones of Contention: A Florida man's curious trade in Mongolian dinosaurs. [previously]
Searching for Doggerland. "For decades North Sea boatmen have been dragging up traces of a vanished world in their nets. Now archaeologists are asking a timely question: What happens to people as their homeland disappears beneath a rising tide?"
"Pretty much everyone interested in dinosaurs, in the history of life, or in such matters as the evolution of intelligence and/or brain size, will be familiar with the various speculations on ‘humanoid dinosaurs’ that have made their way into the literature." - Tetrapod Zoology on Dinosauroids [more inside]
Paleo by Jim Lawson was a comic book series set during the Late Cretaceous and featuring dinosaurs as protagonists. It was in print between 2001 and 2004, but is now being "reprinted" as a webcomic. [more inside]
"The sale of this next lot will be contingent on a satisfactory resolution of a court proceeding dealing with this matter."
On May 20th, the fossil remains of a Tarbosaurus (aka, Tyrannosaurus bataar) were sold for $1,052,500. The auction was carried out despite objections from the President of Mongolia and a court order. The problem? The remains may have been poached.
Tipped off by an ancient poem, and supported by both historical and paleontological/geological research, Koji Minoura et al. found evidence of historic and prehistoric tsunamis[PDF] devastating north-east Japan just as that of March 2011 did -- and he had been saying for years that it could happen again. (via PRI's The World's science podcast)
A group known as the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers have uncovered an unusual fossil (since dubbed "Godzillus") which is currently the subject of investigation and debate. Among the current questions? "Is it animal or vegetable?".
PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license. [more inside]
What happens when a Southern paleontologist falls for a creationist? According to Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, it might go a little something like this.
The most well-preserved dinosaur fossil ever found in Europe was recently announced: a 98 percent intact juvenile theropod that will be on public display this month in Munich.
A History of Skeletal Drawings: Part 1 - pre-20th century, Part 2 - Bone Wars to the 1950's, Part 3 - Dino Renaissance to the present. Via Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.
Consider this animal, the newest fossil discovery from Jianni Liu in China. She calls it "the walking cactus." We have grasses and flowers and beetles in more varieties than you can imagine, and yet, in some deep architectural way, the developmental paths were set way back then, 500 million years ago. The Walking Cactus is just another souvenir of that crazy moment.
The Royal Society's lost women scientists. Women published in the Royal Society, 1890-1930. Most influential British women in the history of science. Women at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Heroines of Science. Women Biochemists, 1906-1939. Women in Science. Previously: The Women of ENIAC.
Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
Darren Tanke has been guest blogging at Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings about his preparation of a Gorgosaurus (as seen here). [more inside]
From August 2 to 18 there are fourteen Norwegian reptile hunters doing field work at the foot of the Janus Mountain in Svalbard, digging for remains of prehistoric sea monsters from the Jurassic period.And it's all being streamed live, via four webcams. [more inside]
"Like many paleontologists, I believe that T. rex was a hunter: a forest hunter. More specifically, I believe that T. rex used the very same hunting strategy that millions of forest hunters practice today: stand hunting from a tree."
Paleontologists discover the skull of a massive predatory whale (Leviathan melvillei) in Peru. Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations. (via)
In 1916, Bone War veteran (and poet) Charles H. Sternberg loaded 22 crates of fossils from the Alberta Badlands onto the SS Mount Temple, intending to ship them to the British Museum of Natural History. They never made it. [via Dinosaur Tracking]
"So I called my dad over and about five metres away he started swearing, and I was like 'what did I do wrong?' and he's like, 'nothing, nothing - you found a hominid'."The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa. Some researchers dispute that the fossils are of an unknown human species, but others say they may help fill a key gap in the fossil record of human evolution. [more inside]
Artist Ray Troll (previously 1, 2) and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, the self-described "paleo-nerd duo", have been working as a team ever since they took a road trip across the American West in search of fossils. In 2007, the pair published the book Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway based on those travels. Most recently, they have collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt at the Burke Museum (previously) in Seattle to produce a traveling exhibit by the same name. [more inside]
"These data revealed a surprisingly consistent pattern of decomposition throughout time. This pattern shows that as these modern fish decayed, their most recently evolved features -- those characters that are most informative because they distinguish closely related animals within the same lineage -- rotted first. The last features to disappear were more ancient; those that are shared by all vertebrates, such the notochord."
Conceived at the 2007 Flugsaurier pterosaur research meeting in Munich, pterosaur.net is devoted to the titular prehistoric reptiles. [more inside]
There is no evidence that Quetzalcoatlus could see dinosaur pee with its ultraviolet vision, or that a herd of hadrosaurs could knock over a predator with their concentrated infrasound blasts.
Paleontologist Matt Wedel was a talking head in the Discovery Channel's Clash of the Dinosaurs, but was not very happy with the final product. The production company, Dangerous, responds. Finally, the Discovery Channel steps up.
"A suite of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck’s bill, have been discovered in the Sahara." [more inside]
Ardipithecus: We Meet At Last. (Single Link Carl Zimmer)
Meet Ida, the missing link. "Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that she could be one of our earliest ancestors. She is a remarkable link between the first primates and modern humans and despite having lived 47 million years ago, her features show striking similarities to our own."
On April 23, 2009 Natalia Rybczynski, Mary R. Dawson, and Richard H. Tedford published their paper "A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia" in the journal, Nature, detailing their 2007 discovery of the species they have named Puijila darwini. The carnivorous marine mammal, which lived about 21 to 24 million years ago, was discovered practically by accident, but as a "transitional fossil" is re-writing our understanding of pinniped evolution. It could also be noted that it was most likely cute as all get out, and is already the star of it's own mini documentary.
Stephen Jay Gould tells the story of the 18th Century German professor Beringer who published a book, Lithographiae Wirceburgensis in 1726 which purported to show remarkable fossils, including spiders in their web, copulating frogs and Yahweh written in Hebrew (high resolution images of the original plates: 1, 2, 3, 4) This turned out to be a fake but the conventional story of the humiliated Professor Beringer and his Lying Stones of Wurzburg is not as simple as the one usually retold in textbooks. And as Gould mentions fossil fakes are not a thing of the past.
"My cat dragged in what appeared to be an odd-looking bird. Imagine my excitement when on closer inspection, it proved to be a real live dead Rhamphorhynchus! I had to dissect it immediately! Unfortunately, my camera jammed, so I had to paint the whole process." - John Conway's Paleontography
A Dinosaur Paleontologist's View of Godzilla; fabulous views from Godzilla (previously); an alternate history view of Godzilla; a view of Godzilla's insides.
Two-hundred -and-forty million years ago, a recently-discovered amphibian hunted with a special feature: teeth in the roof of the mouth. [more inside]
The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive, an online library dedicated to the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). Includes an excellent selection of videos. And The Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive [still under development], which includes two of his books and his Harvard course online. [more inside]
Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara. "How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest Stone Age graveyard."
Tens of millions of brittlestars have been discovered inhabiting the peak of a sea mount in the Macquarie Ridge south of New Zealand. Strong currents are believed to be responsible for sweeping their predators away, more or less recreating their home 300 million years gone....
The little windows in the walls of time amber provides aren't always open. Opaque amber is common and, until now, has hidden away many fossil creatures. 100,000,000 years.... via bbc [more inside]
The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs: How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark? See also Taking A Dinosaur's Temperature: Polar species heat up one of paleontology's great debates. And Bones To Pick: Paleontologist William Hammer hunts dinosaur fossils in the Antarctic. From Smithsonian Magazine.
John Updike writes about bizarre dinosaurs for National Geographic. "How weird might a human body look to them? That thin and featherless skin, that dish-flat face, that flaccid erectitude, those feeble, clawless five digits at the end of each limb, that ghastly utter lack of a tail—ugh. Whatever did this creature do to earn its place in the sun, a well-armored, nicely specialized dino might ask. " Besides the Updike essay there's a image gallery, an interview with John Updike [audio starts automatically], a dino IQ test, an audio critique of the way dinosaurs have been depicted in the latter half of the 20th Century [audio starts automatically], a closer look at the odder features of some of the stranger dinosaurs, an examination of the nigersaurus (images) as well as dinosaur wallpapers and jigsaw puzzles. [via MeFi's Own ed]
Project Pterosaur The goal of Project Pterosaur is to mount an expedition to locate and bring back to the United States living specimens of pterosaurs or their fertile eggs, which will be displayed in a Pterosaur Rookery that will be the center piece of the planned Fellowship Creation Science Museum and Research Institute (FCSMRI). Although, sadly, it may not be real.
Ask a Biologist. "We think that kids don't always get the access to real scientific information (or real scientists!) outside of the classroom so we are here to do just that." One of the newest in a line of question-and-answer sites, this one is run by fifty professional scientists and directed toward school kids. Is is possible to clone dinosaurs? Why do I sneeze when I look at the sun? How many mutations do I have? How do polar bears keep their feet warm?